Formerly the Mary Magdalene Project
Jes Mural

Staff

Dr. Stephany Powell, Executive Director

Dr. Stephany Powell's unique insight into the world of sexual exploitation and trafficking gained through her thirty years with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), coupled with her passion for education and her heart for community, make Dr. Powell an unparalleled choice to lead Journey Out into its future. Dr. Powell retired from the LAPD as Vice Sergeant and accepted the leadership role at Journey Out in October 2013. 

In addition to her LAPD tenure, Dr. Powell is a Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership and utilizes that singular combination in a number of ways. She created and facilitated Team Building and Executive Leadership workshops based on positive change dynamics for the Fire and Police departments. Additionally, she is an Adjunct Professor of Behavioral Science at the University of La Verne and the Los Angeles Trade Technical College. Dr. Powell also founded a consulting business specializing in organizational leadership, conflict resolution and team building to create positive organizational change.

Most important, Dr. Powell uses her considerable skills and insight to educate the community about the complex and often misunderstood world of sex trafficking and to create positive change for its victims.

Dr. Powell is a powerful speaker, a tenacious educator and advocate for change, and one of the premiere experts in this field. We can't think of a more perfect individual to lead our clients on their Journey Out and this organization as it grows.

 

Donna Sarullo, MPA, Director of Programs and Operations

Donna Sarullo joined Journey Out in 2003 and served as Case Manager and Program Director from 2003 to 2008. Donna has extensive experience in domestic violence having worked with the Domestic Violence Project of Glendale YWCA and the Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART) program in the San Fernando Valley. While with DART, she assisted victims of domestic violence by riding along in emergency domestic abuse situations with the LAPD as a victim advocate.

In 2008 Donna left Journey Out to serve as Program Director for the Valley Branch of the Arthritis Foundation. Ms. Sarullo returned to Journey Out in 2010 as Outreach Coordinator and now serves as Director of Programs and Operations. Donna is a graduate of California State University Northridge with a Masters Degree in Public Administration – Nonprofit Management. 

Cherise Charleswell, MPH, Development & Outreach Manager

Cherise Charleswell joined Journey Out in September 2016 as Development & Outreach Manger. Cherise has a multidisciplinary education, having undergraduate degrees in the Biological Sciences and Anthropology, as well as a Master’s in Public Health. She is the Immediate Past President of the Southern California Public Health Association (SCPHA), the Co-Chair of the Programs Committee of the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) Women’s Caucus, and has held various leadership position within APHA.

Her research, work, and advocacy has traditionally focused on health inequity, women, racial/ethnic minorities; and how social determinants of health in the built environment impacts their health outcomes, quality of life, and life expectancy. Cherise is also a former Diversity Officer, who comes from an immigrant background, and has thus been a champion of culturally and linguistically competent services. Cherise is also the current Senior Chair of the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) Social Justice Task Force, she is an Editorial member of the Journal of Peace, Gender, and Development, as well as a co-host and Producer of Feminist Magazine on KPFK 90.7FM – part of the independent Pacifica Radio Broadcast Network, and a former Governing Board Member of the Society for Advancement of African American Public Health Issues (SAAPHI).

Cherise brings a wealth of professional experience to Journey Out; particularly in terms of grant programs management, communications, outreach and collaborations, and program evaluations. She champions the need for solid data – because it not only justifies program funding, but also helps to drive program development and policy; which will ultimately benefit our clients.

Angelica Gomez, Case Manager

Angelica Gomez joined Journey Out in April 2016 as Case Manager. Starting out as a group facilitator, Angelica tries to bring an especially powerful message to the women in our program seeking to leave "The Life" and provides resources to hopefully assist them to sustain a functional life outside of sexual exploitation. Angelica holds a Bachelor degree from California State Dominguez Hills in Communication with a concentration in Public Relations.

Angelica's unique personal life experiences help her effectively facilitate Survivor Groups. For the last 2 years, she has facilitated intervention and prevention groups at group homes with youth. Angelica also mentors other girls and women who are trying to exit sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.

Angelica has used her experience working with this population to bring awareness on the issue of sex trafficking by presenting at many speaking events, and giving a voice to a population that was voiceless before. Angelica hopes to create reform for sex trafficking survivors through legislative reform, outreach, community involvement, and "planting the seed of empowerment".

Tika Thornton

Tika Thornton joined Journey Out in Feburary of 2017, as a Crisis Response Case Manager. Tika is an advocate against sex trafficking. A survivor herself, moved into mentoring and speaking to raise awareness of sex trafficking. She speaks at a group home called Crittenton, where she spreads awareness of trafficking and provides one-on-one peer counseling. Tika is a council member of Long Beach GRIP, an organization that helps at-risk youth. She serves as a mentor to girls who have been arrested, provides them with resources for GED prep, trauma counseling, medical assistance, and housing. Tika also shares her personal story as a survivor to help kids in the Long Beach area understand trauma and guides them to accessing therapy. She is actually serving her first term as President of Long Beach Advocates for Change. Tika is a graduate and sits on the board of directors of the Two Wings Qualified Academy, a nonprofit organization that provides survivors job skills and resources to start careers, and co-facilitates trauma information training. Tika plans to major in Business Administration and/or Psychology in order to start her own organization helping incarcerated youth connect to mental health specialists.

Tika has also conducted a riveting TedEx talk, which can be viewed at the following link: http://www.tedxcanondrivewomen.com/8203tika-thornton.html

Jolene Hollis 

Jolene joined Journey Out in January 2017 as a Crisis Response Case Manager. Jolene has worked as an Intake Coordinator/Case Manage for Grandma's House of Hope, serving the homeless and invisible populations of Orange County. She has been an advocate and involved with several organizations over the last 3 years in the fight against human sex trafficking. She also started the first faith biased survivor support group in Orange County in 2015. Jolene is a Survivor-Leader for the Saddleback Human Trafficking Initiative, as well as being active in education, awareness, and prevention in the faith-biased communities.

Jolene is a graduate of Journey Out’s Prostitution Diversion Program. After being in "The Life" for 10 years she gradually found restoration and hope through a local church, and Journey Out. Since then she has been active in helping other survivors transition back into “normal life”. Taking her own experiences as an adult getting out of the ”The Life”, Jolene effectively impacts victims she comes in contact with, and mentors women who are trying to exit sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.

Jolene's goal is to utilize her life experiences and education to continue to develop opportunities for survivors after they leave "the life". Bridging the gap between rescue, restoration and transition into "normal life." By providing after care, jobs, training, mentorship and continuous new growth through survivor leadership.

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